Are you ready to build your website and establish your online presence? You're probably debating between Squarespace vs WordPress – considering they're two of the most popular blogging platforms you've likely read about.
Each platform has advantages and disadvantages, so understand which one best suits your needs. This is especially crucial since you’re new to the blogging game. As such, you must consider several factors such as pricing plans and ease of use.
In this article, we'll take a closer look at Squarespace and WordPress by listing what you need to examine to make an informed decision. By the end of this, you'll have better insights as to which one is the best to build your online project on.
Squarespace Vs WordPress: An Overview
Before we do a deep dive into what aspects you should know before taking the leap, let's find out more about Squarespace and WordPress first.
Squarespace is a website-building platform that provides bloggers and other small businesses with an easy way to build and manage their websites. It offers a lot of features, including basic eCommerce capabilities, multiple channels for customer support, and tools for managing blog content and email marketing.
WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) in the world thanks to its wide range of plugins and advanced functionality. With this open-source platform, bloggers can also design and run their websites. It also offers users popular options to modify their websites to suit their requirements.
Both allow users to make their blogging or business plans a reality with a variety of add-ons, including excellent marketing tools and blog features. However, the on-site user experience is different. WordPress is better with additional functionality for more complex projects, while Squarespace has a greater centralized support team.
With that said, let's compare them head-to-head to see which one can best serve your blogging needs.
WordPress or Squarespace: Which Is Better For New Bloggers?
Both WordPress and Squarespace power millions of websites, but it's still important to know their major differences. You’ll then be able to choose the one that best suits your requirements.
1. Open-Source vs Close-Source
The source code of Squarespace and WordPress differs significantly. The former is a closed-source platform, while the latter is open-source software.
The core difference between them:
- Open-source software: Typically created by the developer community at large who want to make a piece of software available for everyone else to use and contribute to. The code can be viewed, modified, and even redistributed by anyone.
- Closed-source software: The ones that are not available to the public or can't be downloaded or modified by anyone. The owner takes care of updates for users.
WordPress is an open-source and self-hosted platform, which means it allows users to add custom functionality to the website. There are plenty of relevant articles and workshop videos you can use to educate yourself from the WordPress community. This makes it easy for businesses and blog content creators to create a website that meets their exact requirements.
Besides, it supports the use of custom code since it's open-source. So if you have the technical knowledge base, then this is the platform for you. If your budget permits it, you can always employ an experienced developer if you don't have the necessary skills.
Firms like TrustShoring let you hire remote developers. Therefore, you’ll have complete control over your blog site and how you want it to look. Plus, you can have additional functionality or advanced features to your website to automate processes that other bloggers might not have yet.
Squarespace is a popular close-source platform. With its in-house team, users can benefit from having a support staff that understands their needs and can develop custom solutions for them.
This makes it easier for bloggers to build websites and for entrepreneurs to create online stores that cater to their specific needs and goals. Plus, the in-house team guarantees that the platform is up-to-date with the latest features and automatic updates.
Squarespace is the perfect platform if you plan your initial blog to be simple, just to get things up and running. That type of design is manageable for new bloggers since there aren't a lot of elements to worry about. If that's your goal for now, then Squarespace allows blogging to be an almost hassle-free task. Because of the platform's many built-in capabilities, learning to code isn’t necessary.
We'll call this a tie. If you're good with technical tasks or have custom coding skills, the open-source nature of WordPress is excellent. However, you need to ensure you’re using the most recent versions of any third-party plugins or source code. Not all plugins and theme developers update their products, so be wary.
On the contrary, if web design is not your cup of tea, Squarespace is the better choice. It takes care of security, software updates, and everything technical for you. The drawback is that it forces you to rely on its in-house features, which can limit you.
2. Pricing Plans
Since blogging or setting up a website is a new endeavor for you, pricing is an important part to consider. The two platforms are great since you may select whichever of their various pricing plans best suits your budget.
Pricing Table For WordPress
|Plan||Monthly Pricing Plans||Key Features|
|Premium||$18||Live chat support|
|Commerce||$70||Payments in 60+ countries|
|Enterprise||Starts at $25,000 yearly||Highest security standards|
The pricing plans for WordPress are pretty straightforward. There's a free version, which has the basic features to get you started with a blog or website. You can upgrade to more premium plans to get access to a wider variety of features and services.
However, an important thing to note about WordPress is that although it's free to operate, users may have to pay additional costs or ongoing costs for domain name registration, suitable hosting plans, and premium themes. This can cost you hundreds of dollars if you don’t choose carefully.
As prices for those services vary, the true cost of building a website on WordPress also varies. Nonetheless, the more expensive plans offer a free domain for one year if you're fine with paying and not using the free plan.
Pricing Table For Squarespace
|Plan||Monthly Pricing Plans||Key Features|
|Business||$33||Google Workspace or Professional email address|
|Basic Commerce||$36||Customer accounts|
|Advanced Commerce||$65||Additional shipping options|
Depending on the level of service you require, Squarespace offers a variety of price plans. The most affordable option is the personal plan for $23, which comes with a free custom domain, among other features.
Although there's no free plan, its cheapest plan does already offer an extensive list of features. The choice is up to your needs. Plus, all plans offer users a limited-time, 14-day free trial period. Hence, allowing you to get familiar with the online platform before committing to a payment.
WordPress. It offers more diverse plans that meet the budget restrictions of beginner bloggers. Just be careful of the additional costs that you may incur, especially with your choice of hosting service. Also, both platforms offer annual plans, which can save you a couple of bucks.
3. Ease Of Use
Now, as a novice blogger one of the key factors to consider is the platform’s ease of use. Squarespace and WordPress are already winners for their autosave feature, but let's see what else they have to offer regarding user experience for an unfamiliar blogger.
Let's start with Squarespace. The best part is that no coding skills are necessary. Not to mention, it provides an intuitive user interface and key features such as drag-and-drop, templates, and in-house support teams to make the process of creating a website easier.
Note: But what is the drag-and-drop editor? It means that with just a few clicks, you can quickly add text, images, videos, and other items to your website. The feature makes it hassle-free to rearrange content blocks as needed and customize your site without having any coding experience.
In contrast, WordPress is not as easy to use compared to Squarespace, but it's more customizable. That doesn't mean that WordPress is not user-friendly; it still is a flexible platform for beginners. If you want more control over the design and functionality of your site, WordPress might be better for you. Take a look at its dashboard in the image below to have an idea.
But be prepared to integrate and use third-party plugins as well as have a bit of coding knowledge to customize your pages. Additionally, you'll need to click preview every time you want to see how your page looks while editing, unlike Squarespace.
This can leave beginner users feeling slightly confused, but if you have the technical know-how, WordPress won't limit you to pre-made templates. It even has a theme customizer that you can use. Hence, you can make your website exactly as you envisioned.
Squarespace. It's more beginner-friendly and straightforward compared to WordPress. Thus, providing a slightly better user experience for beginners. As a bonus, both have mobile editor apps, so you won’t be limited to editing on your desktop device.
Both platforms have powerful built-in blogging tools in their arsenal, which can support and operate your blog content with ease, no matter how many posts you make.
WordPress provides a wealth of additional tools and blogging capabilities that make it easy for users to produce and update their blog content. It has many free and premium themes you can apply to your blog. The thousands of themes available can give your blog its look and feel, as well as how different pages are organized on your site.
Moreover, you can add a vast range of powerful plugins for extra features and extend its functionality. They can be used to add things like contact forms, discount codes for subscribers, or social media sharing buttons.
As for Squarespace, it also offers a wide range of stunning designer templates that can be used as per your needs. Plus, specific templates have add-on features like customizable share buttons.
You can also include audio, video, and image assets on your page. Squarespace is also great if your blog content is a collaborative effort since it allows numerous authors to contribute. Not to mention, it has post-scheduling and podcast hosting capabilities. You can also add links, tags, and categories.
Both have powerful blogging tools and are flexible platforms for bloggers of all skill levels. But for beginners and average users, the ease of use of Squarespace when creating blog posts makes this platform the winner.
However, WordPress is still ahead when it comes to additional functionality from reliable plugins. From editing tools to layout editors, it has everything that you need for writing blog posts and publishing them online. It'll just take some technical skills to maximize the platform's features.
As an additional note, it’s best if you read the content ownership policies or content licensing terms of both platforms. This can help you avoid content ownership issues once you decide to stop using their services and ensure you own your work.
5. SEO Tools
Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial in building your audience. With the right SEO tools, bloggers or businesses can make sure that their hundreds or thousands of articles are optimized for search engines.
To help you optimize your website for search engine rankings, WordPress comes with several built-in SEO tools. Also, it's extremely customizable and offers plenty of plugins. For instance, if you want to improve your page speed, which is a crucial SEO ranking factor, you can install WP Rocket.
If you want to focus on basic SEO checking and readability, you can download and install Yoast SEO. There are many more third-party apps you can enjoy with WordPress to boost your visibility on search engines, including plugins for creating rich snippets and finding relevant words or search terms for your articles.
Squarespace is not far off when it comes to SEO tools. Just like WordPress, it'll allow you to customize the meta descriptions, alt-text for images, and URLs. It even has templates for you to optimize your content for mobile devices, which is a must nowadays.
Although, it has one drawback. There is a lack of extensions available for Squarespace. Thus, you're limited to using its built-in features only. If you already understand SEO, this is ok, but if not, it might not be as simple.
WordPress. It can boost your search engine rankings with SEO plugins. Of course, it's important to remember that the SEO tools of both platforms are there to support you, but they're not going to do all the work. There are many more SEO factors to consider, including backlink building and producing great content.
You just might be starting off with a blog, but in case you want to build an online store around it, it's crucial to know the eCommerce solutions, online selling features, and marketing tools of each platform. Fortunately, both are competent to handle advanced or basic business websites.
WordPress users can easily build an online store, accept payments, and manage products from one central location. With the help of third-party apps and online services (for instance, WooCommerce), you can extend WordPress' capabilities to create a fully-featured eCommerce website.
What’s more – you can include an inventory of unlimited products, including the following:
- Gift Cards
- Digital Products
- Physical Goods
- Personalized Items
As such, if you're planning to sell a digital product like Aura’s AI-powered repricing solution, you're allowed to do that in WordPress. You're not just limited to physical goods. You can sell eBooks, which can be great accompaniments to your blog content.
Additionally, with the availability of eCommerce plugins and the platform’s open-source nature, you can build an eCommerce store that's sleek, well-designed, and has great functions.
WooCommerce is the one handling the essentials of eCommerce selling. It offers secure card payment methods and analytics, among other things. It also protects the payment details of customers. You can even integrate your WordPress-powered store with your social media accounts.
As for Squarespace, it's a popular business website builder that offers a range of eCommerce plans and capabilities. It can provide you with an all-in-one platform to build a great online store.
The features you'll get depend on the eCommerce plan you choose. For instance, the commerce basic plan allows you to sell on Facebook and Instagram as well as access to a professional video maker. The commerce advanced plan offers advanced discounts and an abandoned cart feature. Plus, both have a 0% transaction fee.
Only PayPal, Apple Pay, and Stripe are available as payment options, though. Also, it doesn't support many third-party apps. So, if you're a budding business targeting a large geographical area like HomeOtter – the lack of payment methods is something to seriously consider. That can turn away potential customers or subscribers if the current payment methods are not convenient for them.
In hindsight, the platform is still great. There are apps in the Squarespace Extensions market to give you access to additional features.
Let's call a tie on this. WordPress is a flexible platform with thousands of plugin providers that can give your eCommerce store more growth opportunities. But Squarespace is not short of built-in sales tools and allows you to add-ons to run email campaigns. Overall, both have advanced eCommerce features if you plan on pursuing an all-in-one store.
We've been mentioning plugins throughout this article. They’re third-party extensions that help create the website you're currently envisioning. They provide additional functionality and features that aren't built-in to the platforms.
WordPress is the most popular and one of the most versatile CMS available today. There are thousands of plugins available for WordPress users to download and integrate into their websites. Thus, allowing you to customize and add advanced functionality to your website.
While some are premium plugins you have to pay for, there are also plenty of free options. Some plugins are great for editings like the Elementor with its drag-and-drop feature and visual editor. Additionally, some can help you with social media integration on your site.
You can even install a text-to-speech (TTS) plugin like Speechify to reach a wider audience. It'll allow you to cater to those who have impairments and even those who just like to multitask. For many websites, TTS is now a vital feature to accommodate the different needs of audiences.
However, with a wide range of options available, you need to be careful of outdated plugins that can hinder the functionality or loading times of your website. There are also malicious plugins with harmful codes that can put the security strength of your site at risk.
Squarespace is an amazing website builder, but it's limited in terms of plugin capabilities. This means that users are limited in their ability to incorporate unique functionality or features into their Squarespace websites. Although, it's worth noting that the built-in features of the platforms are enough for many new bloggers.
Moreover, Squarespace has a separate app market wherein users can find extensions that offer specific additional features. For instance, you can find apps there that can help add tax functionalities to make it easy for you to manage an eCommerce store. But its app market is still limited compared to WordPress.
WordPress. It offers more flexible options for users to personalize their websites and not be restricted to just the built-in features. Just make sure you're using secure plugins to avoid malicious code.
Squarespace vs WordPress: The winner is…up to you.
We've talked about specific factors that can affect your path to being a great and known blogger. However, the overall winner between Squarespace vs WordPress depends on your goals and capabilities.
For example, you might be a new blogger that has a clean slate when it comes to more technical tasks, or you might have some knowledge already from other experiences.
So, which is better for you?
If you're the former, the clear winner is Squarespace, since you only have to learn its built-in features and it has plenty of customer support channels.
However, if you're the latter, WordPress is more scalable and customizable. That's why it has the lion's share of the market.
Also, if you choose WordPress, you'll have access to thousands of resources like step-by-step guides that can guide you in maximizing the platform's functionality. For example, here at Web Hosting Secret Revealed, Jerry and his team have all the help you need to find the best hosting options and their features that can meet your blogging needs.